On Friday I said goodbye to my friends and colleagues at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). It’s been hard. Not only have I loved my QUT friends and my role as librarian, I have also appreciated a wealth of support, mentoring, and opportunities to grow over the past four-and-a-bit years. QUT was also where I completed my Honours and Masters degrees, and where I first found interesting and rewarding work as a research assistant and research administrator.
The best measure of my transformation? when I arrived at QUT in 2001, I was a single mum on welfare, working part-time cleaning pub kitchens. I had never logged on to a computer. I didn’t know what email was, and took a few days to understand the differences between my username, password and email address. A month later I got my first assignment back – 19.75 of 20 marks. And eighteen months later I was working as a research assistant. I have not seen the ‘wrong’ side of a pub counter since. This transformation didn’t happen because I am a genius. About 95% I attribute to the professional and academic staff who took the time to explain the technology, the assignments, how to research, all the different things I needed to know and do. The remaining 5% I attribute to my desperate desire for a happy future for *my family.
I think my story really illustrates what the QUT culture is all about: creating opportunities for folk who don’t count for much elsewhere, and helping them unearth and realise who they really are. I only hope that as a librarian I have been a successful part of that culture, and that I can take the same philosophy to my new library role…
Goodbye QUT, I am taking a little of you with me ❤
*a big shout out too, to my parents and extended family for their love and support!